If you operate in the social media marketing space, you know this is a hot topic right now. As in, you don’t want to wind up there!
So what does it take to get thrown in the virtual slammer anyway? Let’s start with a definition of Facebook jail: You are prohibited — usually temporarily — from performing basic functions on Facebook. The sentences vary in length, but you could find yourself unable to post or send messages or upload files for several days or even weeks. You will not get a warning, no chance to talk yourself out of the ticket.
In the real world, we know boundaries. Speed limit 55 MPH. Thou shalt not steal. But have you seen the Facebook speed limit signs? No, because they’re not clearly posted. It may be harder to decipher what not to do than it is to learn and follow good practices. Do these few things and chances are you will be well received, loved and a model citizen on Facebook instead of having to beg for that one phone call.
Facebook algorithms are not mythical creatures. Algorithms are step-by-step rules and processes created to analyze data accomplish a task. And Facebook uses them to protect its members from being spammed. Certain behaviors on Facebook raise flags and will get offenders thrown in “jail.”
An example that is prime for being flagged would be thousands, even tens of thousands, of people posting the same image or the same exact text or link to Facebook. It’s considered spammy and less-than-human. We are creative creatures, and we are rewarded in more than one way on social media for standing out from the masses.
Not only will you be Facebook safe if you post your own graphics or modified images, but separating yourself from the “autobots” will get you noticed by the potential customers you are trying to attract. When it comes to direct sales, consultants posting the same exact images as the corporate accounts provide no new value. Stand out and be original. Raise your hand if you want to see five or 10 or more of the same exact post in your newsfeed? Bueller?
Think about normal behaviors of communication. We have conversations, we take turns, we take breaths in between sentences. We do not like to be bombarded with unsolicited rapid-fire messages. Think of a small child tapping on your arm over and over really fast and saying, “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy…” until you finally stop and scream, “WHAAAAT?”
If you are hosting an event or otherwise sharing information to a Facebook audience, space out your posts in a reasonable timeframe so that your guests or members can digest the information. A good rule to follow is to space out posts every 3 to 5 minutes.
And if you have multiple pages and groups to which you need to post similar content, try changing it up each time, and again, space out the posts by a few minutes. Managing this pace of communication is easy with a scheduling program like CinchShare, Post Planner, or Tiny Torch. You control the exact timing of your posts. You hold the power to control time.
A group admin said she was locked out of posting in her Facebook group because she commented with the same exact response to multiple posts in short succession. The algorithms are programmed to flag automation. By design, Facebook wants to protect its members from disingenuous behavior. Similarly, rapidly commenting on posts or uploading too many files too quickly are Facebook no-nos.
Think about your Facebook behaviors and be human. That means original responses and posts even if you want to share the same exact information in multiple places. Change it up each time.
The bottom line is slow down and be original. If you are attempting to outsmart the autobots — well, enjoy some downtime in Facebook jail because there are no grounds for appeal.
Contact me today if you feel that this post has been helpful or if you have any additional suggestions about how to stay out of Facebook Jail!